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Crime survey: Call for police to ramp up visibility

News24
13 Oct 2018, 00:37 GMT+10

Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Police says police visibility and community policing should be intensified in light of the results of the latest Victims of Crime Survey.

The statistics were released on Thursday.

The survey revealed that crime was on the increase in South Africa, with about 1.24 million households experiencing crime in 2017/2018, a figure 5% higher than in 2016/2017.

READ: Crime by numbers - everything you need to know about the latest stats

According to the survey, housebreaking and burglary was the most common crime category, representing 54% of all household crimes.

"The finding that housebreaking and burglary is the most prevalent crime affecting South Africans necessitates the SAPS (South African Police Service) to intensify the visibility of police units throughout the country," Francois Beukman, chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police, said on Friday.

Beukman highlighted "regular police patrols, more roadblocks in hotspot areas, efficient sector policing, increased cooperation with community patrollers and community policing forums" as key in finding long-term solutions to the high crime rates.

Decrease in public's satisfaction with police

Private security companies and neighbourhood watches were also crucial in combatting crime, he said.

Beukman suggested that response times from police units and detection rates for various crime categories should be improved in order for the current deficiencies to be dealt with.

The Victims of Crime Survey also revealed that the public's satisfaction with the police decreased to 54.2% in 2017/2018.

"The portfolio committee is very concerned with the drop in public satisfaction with the police," Beukman said.

In order to improve the police force, national police management indicated this week in Parliament that filling all vacant posts in police stations would be a top priority.

"It is essential that high-crime spots are prioritised in the allocation of members, relevant equipment and vehicles," Beukman added.

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